Motor vehicle accident case gets complicated over split opinions

Date: Feb 21, 2019

In a recent motor vehicle accident case, the NSW District Court was faced with deciding whether a breach of care was owed by either driver and whether it was the cause of the collision in question.

How did the motor vehicle accident occur?

The collision occurred on 11 August 2016 and involved a Kenworth prime mover truck pulling two trailers loaded with grain and a four-wheel drive Toyota Prado with a caravan.

After hearing both versions of events, the court found that the accident occurred as a result of the truck overtaking the car along the Henry Lawson Way towards Young in NSW.

The owner of the truck and trailers, and the employer of the truck driver, was the plaintiff. The company claimed the accident was caused by the negligence of the driver (the defendant) in the Toyota Prado, and sought damages for damage to the truck and trailers. The defendants (the driver and his wife in the passenger seat) claim the accident was caused by the truck driver, and in turn, through a cross-claim, sought damages for the effects to their car, the caravan and its contents.

What did the plaintiff say?

The driver of the truck (the plaintiff) claimed the first defendant (the driver of the Toyota) drove negligently and failed to control his vehicle, which was submitted in a Second Further Amended Statement of Claim. He said this caused the caravan to collide with the left-hand side of the plaintiff’s vehicle and eventually cause the defendant’s’ vehicle to jack-knife in front of the plaintiff’s. This caused the caravan to encroach onto the wrong side of the roadway and collide with the plaintiff’s vehicle. After assessing his loss and damage, the plaintiff calculated his damages at a total of $226,203.04.

What did the defendants say?

Both defendants denied any liability and argued that the plaintiff failed to control his vehicle and attempted to overtake when it was not safe to do so. They submitted their damages at an amount of $110,740.59.

What did the court decide?

After reviewing all evidence submitted by both parties and two reconstruction experts, the court found that the overtake manoeuvre performed by the plaintiff was not unsafe. However, they also concluded that the Toyota driver had not driven negligently. Therefore, the Second Further Amended Statement of Claim was dismissed. Furthermore, no damages were awarded to either party at this time, leaving matters relating to rewards be decided for another time.

As the above case shows, motor vehicle accident claims can be extremely lengthy and complex. If you’re trying to work out your compensation options, get in touch with the experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners today.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.